Nadler Statement in Support of the Syria Accountability Act

Oct 14, 2003

Washington, DC—Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today made the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the Syria Accountability Act:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly support the Syria Accountability Act. This legislation is long overdue.

"I have been pleased to work with my good friend from New York, the sponsor of this legislation, Mr. Engel, who has been fighting tirelessly for the past several years to make this legislation a reality. Despite previous White House opposition to this bill we have known how critical it is to fight terrorism at every turn, be it at home or across the world.

"Syria has openly condoned, funded, and encouraged terrorism in the Middle East and around the world. Just recently, Israel bombed terrorist training camps inside Syria. Syria did not deny the existence of the camps, their defense was merely that they were inactive.

"Syria controls the Lebanon-Israel border, from the Lebanon side, where kytusha rocket attacks are regularly launched against innocent Israeli citizens. Syria openly houses Hamas and Hezbollah training grounds and its government and citizens knowingly fund their criminal activity. Despite repeated attempts by the Israeli Government, Syria refuses to discuss a peaceful means to resolving the differences between the two countries.

"Just today, terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip murdered four United States citizens. Were they trained in Syria, funded by Syria? We should not have to wonder. If Syria provides aid and comfort to the enemy, they should not receive aid and comfort from the United States.

"This legislation is modest in comparison to the recent actions the United States took against Iraq and in my opinion, Syria provides greater aid to terrorist organizations than Iraq ever did. It calls for economic sanctions against Syria, restrictions on diplomatic activity in the United States and most importantly calls for the withdrawal of Syrian Troops from Lebanon.

"I want to thank Mr. Engel for championing this legislation and give my full support to this important legislation."